Courses in political science, political economy, and government have been taught at Oregon State University since its founding in the 1860s. In 1908, political science courses were taught within the School of Commerce and a Department of Political Science was established within the School of Commerce in the 1910s. In the early 1930s, with the establishment of the Oregon State System of Higher Education, political science became a unit of the Lower Division and offered a limited number of courses. Political science at Oregon State expanded significantly during the 1950s and several faculty were hired. The School of Humanities and Social Sciences was established in 1959 with the Political Science Department as one of its units. An undergraduate degree in political science was first offered in 1966.
The Institute on World Affairs was held annually at Oregon State College from 1950 through 1959. The event was sponsored by Oregon State College, Corvallis community groups, and the Oregon Commission for UNESCO and included convocations, lectures, and discussion groups.
The Model United Nations is an academic simulation of the United Nations with the purpose of educating participants about current events, diplomacy, and communication. Oregon State University students participated in Model United Nations conferences in the 1950s through 1970s.
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